Good action story that does slow down towards the end to get into a philosophical discussion about building a utopia but the action picks up again for an entertaining read.
It’s the last third of the 21st century. The world is different including the U.S. The East Coast is dark and no one knows what’s going on there. It’s called the Republic. It’s run by a dictator that no one knows. Washington D.C. is in ruins and the capitol of the country is Peoria,Illinois.
Frank Sutter is a Special Forces agent. He’s embroiled in the war between the lower U.S. and the Mexican Empire. He’s had his fill of combat. He’s assigned to the OSO, the Office of Secret Operations. His assignment is to get into the Republic and report on what’s going on. Four others have gone before and never heard from again.
Frank uses a hang glider to get into the country. He crashes into a greenhouse and wakes up in a hospital. He finds out he’s been given a shot of Innerverse. It’s nanotechnology used to control every action. If you feel violent it will cause nausea and make you stop before you can do anything.
Everything is free and not worth it. Most food is potatoes that are almost rotten..and that’s the good tasting stuff. You have to watch documentaries at least three hours a day on what a great society you’re living in. If you don’t watch the Innerverse kicks in and you don’t have a choice.
Frank meets a woman he calls Alice. No one has a proper name, just a code number. She’s immune to Innerverse and it seems to be wearing off Frank. The two make plans to escape across the border into the Central States. The action picks up and the chase and adventures are on. They manage to get an old truck from a farmer. After several close calls they end up at an abandoned hotel. Just when they’ve settled in a couple car loads of drunken soldiers and some girls show up. Not good for Frank and Alice.
After a harrowing experience Frank ends up back in the hospital. This time he’s at the headquarters in the Virginia countryside. He’s been shot with more Innerverse. Alice is also there. They meet Dr.Herb Streiner. His father discovered Innerverse. Streiner is the Republic’s big cheese. It looks like it’s hopeless until Frank gets an unexpected ally. Since all the best spies are supposed to be studs Frank uses his prowess to try and save the day.
I don’t know if the ending was supposed to be satirical but if not it did generate more laughs than suspense.